Warm Gluten-Free Pasta Salad with sauteed zucchini, kale, tomatoes and mushrooms

Gluten-Free Warm or Cold Pasta Salad amps up the flavor with sauteed zucchini, kale, tomatoes and mushroomsor Cold this Pasta Salad with sauteed zucchini, kale, tomatoes and mushrooms
I have to admit when I make a dish like this it's because I'm in a hurry or crazy hungry! My brain always goes to gluten free pasta when I'm hungry, but I don't indulge very often. I try to offset the carbs by not adding meat and adding tons of veggies instead. It's fast to make, satisfying and the cold leftovers are even better the next day!

Warm Gluten-Free Pasta Salad with sauteed zucchini, kale, tomatoes and mushrooms

Now since I'm in a hurry, when I say 2 cups kale? It's more like I grabbed two big handfuls out of the precut monster-sized bag that I buy. We eat a lot of kale around here and this is a great way to use up the bag. I also add kale to my Fabulous Florida Frittata, smoothies, or just throw it in a green salad.

Surprisingly, I can feed my meat loving hubby this for dinner with no complaints!

Sometimes I use fresh herbs when I have them but it's just as good without them. The salad is light with tons of flavor from sauteing the veggies.

I'm equally crazy about this amazing gluten free pasta salad the next day. Now the pasta has soaked up the saute juices and the pasta is even more flavorful. I add a bit of my favorite three cheese oil and vinegar dressing from Aldi and if I feel like it, add a bit of chicken or tuna.  It's pretty divine whatever you put in it.


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I use Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice noodles from Trader Joe's.   Ancient Harvest is good too.


Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

 2-3 tablespoons of organic olive oil for pan
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, semi peeled, chopped (I like to leave a little peel on but either way is good)
  • 2 cups kale, remove most of the stem from the middle, chopped
  • 8 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound (16 oz) gluten-free Fusilli or Rotini dry pasta noodles (the twisted spirals grab more sauce)
  • gluten free oil and vinegar dressing, to taste, opt (we like a drizzle on the warm salad and then I add a bit more to the leftovers and serve it cold)
  • fresh herbs, like sweet basil, chopped finely, for garnish
Instructions:

  1. Fill a large sauce pan halfway with 5 quarts water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil.  Add pasta, stir and cook for 8-9 minutes or a bit under al dente. When you taste the pasta it should be tender with a little "tooth" That means not soft but not hard. Just a little chewier than you want it to be when finished. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. 
  2. After you drop the pasta, turn a burner on medium heat. In a large cast iron skillet add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Add onion and garlic, saute, stirring for 3 minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms, kale and zucchini and stir. I only cook the veggies for a 2 or 3 minutes, giving it a little toss now and then. Keep an eye on it so the zucchini doesn't go soft.  
  5. Stir in drained pasta and toss again, scraping up all the bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for two minutes more or until pasta is tender. 
  6. Add tomatoes at the last for just a minute to warm but not cook. Stir gently to release the juice. Sprinkle with Parmesan and stir. I add about a 1/4 cup. It will also thicken your sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir.
  7. Turn out pasta into a large serving dish and sprinkle with more Parmesan and fresh herbs if using. I let mine cool a bit before serving.
  8.  Serve warm or enjoy the next day cold with a little oil and vinegar dressing.

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